Prostitution, drug use and violence have turned a Roselawn strip mall — and one particular venue within it — into a threat to “public decency, sobriety, peace and good order,” according to documents filed Tuesday in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. The City of Cincinnati hopes to see the Valley Shopping Center completely closed for up to a year to end what it describes as a substantial public nuisance.
The city on Tuesday brought suit against Rose Valley Land Group Ltd., which owns the shopping center, and Yolanda Harris, who owns a venue called the Lion’s Den.
The suit claims Henderson’s business lacked a liquor permit but nevertheless functioned as a “bootleg night club,” serving alcohol to patrons long past the 2:30 a.m. cutoff for alcohol vendors in the state of Ohio.
The Lion’s Den was only part of the problem, according to court documents.
Between Jan. 1, 2017 and the date the suit was filed, police responded to 746 calls for service and made 43 arrests for offenses ranging from solicitation to assault to selling drugs.
Despite warnings, “the illegal sale of alcohol, drug-dealing, prostitution and violence continues unabated at Valley Shopping Center,” the city wrote.
The suit requests Judge Melba Marsh formally declare the site a public nuisance, find its owners guilty of creating and maintaining a nuisance and issue an injunction closing the Valley shopping center for a period of one year.
The case will appear in Marsh’s courtroom May 17.